Robert Hornbuckle

A great man once said — hundreds of times, it seems — “It’s going to be all right.” Being the first AP class I had ever taken, this phrase was one that got me through the better part of my junior year.

Throughout his class I grew as a writer, I grew as a student, but most importantly I grew as a person. Not only did I grow to appreciate the finer things in the English language and its literature, but I came to understand a lot about human experience — both fictional and my own.

However insignificant it may seem, a singular memory stands out, in which a day came to pass where factors beyond my control had me particularly — for lack of a better description — not myself. In the hallway that day, this teacher gave me some choice words that got me through an extremely hard time in my life.

Words stick with me; their base meaning, their flow and resonance, their impact. Furthermore, I have the utmost respect for those who truly have a mastery of not only written, but spoken word as well. Some may not see a distinction between these, but there is. And this man has it. He has compassion in times of distress. He has wisdom in times of peril. He has humor in times of lightheartedness (and frankly, all other times). And he has a good heart.

I wish him the best next year in his final year before retirement and I trust that he will continue to impact every single person who walks through his classroom door. If not earlier, this would be the time where he would interject his signature sarcastic comment, “Shut the hell up.” So I will, but not before I interject my own quaint comment, two simple words that hold dominion over most others, “thank you.” – Mr. Robert Hornbuckle